Pre-Planning for Phased Re-Opening
As schools reopen, BritCham SW member – ZHL Consulting (click to read about ZHL Consulting), which would officially start from August 2020, can provide support in meeting the social/emotional needs of students, enrolling and transferring students, addressing health needs, assisting parents, communicating with outside agencies, etc. The services and strategies that may be needed by schools and school based personnel are described below.
- Professional development for staff regarding, “Mental Health in the Classroom” certification,
- Typical childhood reactions to stress and trauma which might have resulted from home confinement,
- Help student service staff create professional development for teachers and adult staff (remember bus drivers, cafeteria, and janitorial staff) ,
- Co-facilitate staff training related to re-entry concerns, e.g. trauma, grief, etc.
Mental Health Support
Assisting teachers and staff with the following:
- Classroom guidance, individual counseling, group counseling, referrals, student support team referrals, community referrals.
- Consult with classroom teachers about student needs and develop classroom guidance lessons as appropriate to the age and grade level.
- Teach, or co-teach social-emotional learning strategies to help students adjust to the changes in their environments
- Assist teachers with celebrating individual student resilience (What I did during the virus to be safe).
- Analyze student work to assess mental health needs (Journals, artwork, etc.)
- Develop classroom guidance lessons on gratefulness: post student work in hallways thanking the cleaning staff, the nurses, doctors, grocery workers, etc.
- Assist teachers or create classroom guidance lessons on how to help others at a safe distance.
- Encourage virtual hellos and stories to COVID-19 front liners and patients, etc.
- Provide individual counseling to students who express fears, loss, anxiety and/or signs of depression Refer students to outside counseling as needed Provide safe, social distancing for group counseling.
- Co-teach lesson (health) on depression symptoms and warning signs and offer referral services to students and staff.
- Observe and talk to students who may have signs of abuse or neglect.
- Develop and use and alert and referral processes to secure help for the student and family
- Plan with administrators for a sudden closing of schools due to the resurgence of the virus. (Communication strategies for parents, students, staff and teachers)
- Collaborate with student support staff and administrators for emergency planning should the virus return and schools need to close again.(Continuation of learning, disinfecting schools, mental health concerns of repeated stress of isolation, return, and re-isolation.)
- Check in with staff to determine their mental health needs and work with Employee Assistance as needed.
- Provide professional development for staff on issues related to the possible return of the virus and stress management.
Developmental Classroom Support
- Provide classroom lessons on school expectations and structure to help students re-adjust to a full school schedule,
- Facilitate classroom guidance on social distance practices in school, community, home, etc,
- Assist teachers with behavioral concerns and counsel students to determine root causes.